Investigating Mechanisms of Suppression in Preschool Children With Specific Language Impairment PurposeThis study investigated 2 suppression mechanisms—(a) resistance to distracter interference and (b) inhibition of a prepotent response—in preschool children with specific language impairment (SLI) and their typically developing peers.MethodTwenty-two preschool children with SLI and 22 typically developing controls participated in this study. The resistance to distracter interference task involved suppressing ... Article
Article  |   June 01, 2010
Investigating Mechanisms of Suppression in Preschool Children With Specific Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Tammie J. Spaulding
    University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
  • Contact author: Tammie J. Spaulding, Department of Communication Sciences, University of Connecticut, 850 Bolton Road, Storrs, CT 06269. E-mail: tammie.spaulding@uconn.edu.
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language
Article   |   June 01, 2010
Investigating Mechanisms of Suppression in Preschool Children With Specific Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2010, Vol. 53, 725-738. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/09-0041)
History: Received February 27, 2009 , Revised July 14, 2009 , Accepted September 22, 2009
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2010, Vol. 53, 725-738. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/09-0041)
History: Received February 27, 2009; Revised July 14, 2009; Accepted September 22, 2009
Web of Science® Times Cited: 27

PurposeThis study investigated 2 suppression mechanisms—(a) resistance to distracter interference and (b) inhibition of a prepotent response—in preschool children with specific language impairment (SLI) and their typically developing peers.

MethodTwenty-two preschool children with SLI and 22 typically developing controls participated in this study. The resistance to distracter interference task involved suppressing distracters (nonverbal auditory, linguistic, and visual) that were external and irrelevant to the task goal. Inhibition was assessed using a stop-signal paradigm to evaluate the ability to suppress a prepotent, conflicting response.

ResultsThe children with SLI exhibited decreased resistance to distracter interference regardless of distracter modality and poor inhibitory control relative to their typically developing peers.

ConclusionThese results identify suppression weaknesses in preschool-age children with SLI. Specifically, children with this disorder exhibited difficulty suppressing both irrelevant and contradictory information.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Predoctoral Fellowship F31 DC008244. Special thanks to Elena Plante for her assistance throughout this investigation and to the families and children who participated in this study.
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